I am sure you have all heard of carrot cake. Possibly even zucchini cake (or cupcakes). But I would be surprised if you have ever heard of a beet cake.
When I first started receiving my boxes over a year ago, I seemed to get a lot of deliveries of beets. I had never been too fond of beets, but I am a sucker for fresh produce so I would always find a way to eat it. Freddie was a little more picky. I would prepare the beets as the delivery company would suggest, and they would always seem to linger on Freddie’s plate. He wouldn’t admit that he didn’t like them, but he was always coincidentally “full”. So I became determined to find a way to make beets that he would find irresistible.
I found quick success with beet fritters. It is one of our favorite side dishes. But having only one option can get boring at times. In our household, we happen to love sweets. So when this recipe came along we were more than excited.
But does beet cake even sound appetizing to you? To be honest, I was a little skeptical at first too. Although it only took one bite, and I was sold!
The taste is similar to other veggie cakes, due to the ginger and cinnamon blend. There is also a nice crunch in each bite from the bits of shredded beets. The texture of the cake is exceptionally moist and luscious, thanks to the fresh beets.
1 pound beets
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup 1% low-fat milk
1 teaspoon grated orange rind
1 stick of unsalted butter, room-temperature
1 8-ounce bar of cream cheese, room-temperature
4 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3-4 tablespoons finely chopped walnuts, toasted
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. To prepare cake, peel beets using a vegetable peeler. Grate beets, using the large holes of a grater, to measure 2 cups. (Make sure to wear an apron while grating the beets as they tend to splatter)
Coat 2 (9-inch) round cake pans with cooking spray; line bottoms with wax paper. Coat wax paper with cooking spray.
Combine the granulated sugar, brown sugar, oil, and eggs in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well-blended. Add beets beat well. Lightly spoon the flour into dry measuring cups level with a knife. Combine flour and next 5 ingredients (flour through salt) in a large bowl, storing well with a whisk. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Pour batter into prepared pans; sharply tap pans once on counter to remove air bubbles. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes on wire racks remove from pans. Carefully peel off wax paper, and cool cake completely on wire racks.
To prepare frosting, beat butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add vanilla extract and mix until blended. Add confectioners’ sugar 1/2 cup at a time; beat until light and fluffy. Fold in orange rind, mixing with rubber spatula.
Place 1 cake layer on a plate; spread with 1/2 cup frosting; top with remaining cake layer. Spread remaining frosting over top and sides of cake. Sprinkle nuts over top of cake. Store cake loosely covered in refrigerator.
Whether or not you consider yourself a beet fan, you will most definitely be a fan of this cake. And if for some reason you aren’t, don’t blame the beets. I mean, what have they ever done to you? :)